Sun contest touts Java apps

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Sun Microsystems launched Java Cup International, a contest running through the end of March to promote the creation of platform-independent applications called Java "applets," using Sun's new Java programming language that enables interactivity and true multimedia elements on the Web.

Winners will be named in May and will receive up to $200,000 in Sun Microsystems equipment. Additional corporate sponsors of the contest include Netscape Communications Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Separately, Carillon Importers, the spirits marketer that imports Stolichnaya vodka, added a "Stoli Note" feature on its Web site so users can send an electronic greeting card to friends online. Using a Java applet, Stoli Note allows users to include animated messages in their greeting cards. For each user who logs and sends a greeting, Stolichnaya will donate $1 to the Literacy Volunteers of America.

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